May 15, 2007

behind the words

written at all hazard
despite riots, curfews and typhoons
is a language unheard-of,

the language of fish
painted on the arched ceiling
of an ancient shrine,
revived by a touch
of salt water,

spoken as well by trees and animals
in a blind younger world
before literate humans arrived,

when a leaf was heavier than gold
                       and silver dust still falling
                                           from the moon -

a story starts
at the center behind a seer's eyes -

child monks parrot the words
with tears in their eyes -

from the bottom
of a salt lake,
dry and long forgotten,

rises a faraway laughter
like a ripple of mirage over water -

—Yoko Danno

Posted by dwaber at May 15, 2007 12:09 PM